Category Archive: Economics

Oct 20 2013

Why does Jamie Dimon still have his job?

The mega-investment bank JP Morgan Chase has been at the end of repeated bad news. It just reported its first quarterly loss in ten years. What was interesting is that this was largely due to the bank having to set aside $9.2 billion in lawyers’ fees, which gives you some idea of the extent of …

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Oct 18 2013

Update on the debt ceiling

For those keeping score, the US government yesterday officially went past the old debt ceiling limit of $16,699,421,095,673.60. As of last night it had borrowed a total of $17,027,544,000,000 or about $328 billion more than it had the previous night.

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Oct 16 2013

The ‘Grand Bargain’ hoax

If the debt ceiling is raised and the government is opened, get ready for more talk of the need for a ‘Grand Bargain’ to cut spending on earned benefits (I refuse to call them by the common but misleading name of entitlements) and other programs that benefit the less well-off in order to rescue the …

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Oct 15 2013

The high cost of cheap food

Hamilton Nolan points to two reports that say that we are all basically subsidizing the fast food industry corporations to the tune of about $7 billion per year. McDonalds alone costs us $1.2 billion. How?

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Oct 14 2013

How the stock market rules our world

The headline on this article in today’s Washington Post says it all: “Senate leaders’ talks on shutdown, debt limit stall as sides await market’s reaction”. Apparently, the leaders in Congress are waiting to see what happens to the stock market today to see if there is a crisis that will force them to act.

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Oct 09 2013

Some debt limit trivia

Thanks to this interminable and absurd government shut down and the possible debt ceiling breach, I have learned more about the functioning of government finances that I ever thought I would. One of the interesting bits of trivia is that although I have been reporting that the current debt ceiling set on May 19, 2013 …

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Oct 07 2013

Millennials are pretty much like every other generation

The so-called millennial generation in the US is the focus of much media attention, much of it negative, decrying them as whiny, praise-seeking, self-absorbed, slaves to social network technology, and having a sense of entitlement. But a new survey finds that as they progress towards adulthood, they display many of the same characteristics as the …

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Oct 02 2013

Trickle up economics

It is extraordinary how in the US, contrary to what you read about the ‘makers and takers’, it is the rich who are subsidized by everyone else Via reader Norm, I learned about this article that argues that the average American pays $6,000 in subsidies to big business.

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Sep 27 2013

Is this any way to run the world’s largest economy?

What the hell is going on in Congress? I have been (kind of) following the posturing that has been going on over the efforts to pass a continuing resolution bill by October 1. The normal budgetary process of passing the 12 appropriation bills to fund the government for the next fiscal year has long since …

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Sep 26 2013

More on cutting food stamps

Those arguing for cuts in the SNAP program point to the growth over the last few years (it now supports 47 million individuals, up from about 26 million in 2008) as a symptom of an entitlement system that is out of control that is encouraging more people to be ‘moochers’.

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